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  1. Also called bebop. early modern jazz developed in the early 1940s and characterized by often dissonant triadic and chromatic chords, fast tempos and eccentric rhythms, intricate melodic lines punctuated by pop-tune phrases, and emphasizing the inventiveness of soloists.Compare cool jazz, hard bop, modern jazz, progressive jazz.

verb (used without object), bopped, bop·ping.

  1. Slang. to move, go, or proceed (often followed by on down): Let’s bop on down to the party.

verb (used with object), bopped, bop·ping.

  1. to strike, as with the fist or a stick; hit.


  1. a blow.


  1. a form of jazz originating in the 1940s, characterized by rhythmic and harmonic complexity and instrumental virtuosityOriginally called: bebop
  2. informal a session of dancing to pop music

verb bops, bopping or bopped

  1. (intr) informal to dance to pop music

verb bops, bopping or bopped

  1. (tr) to strike; hit


  1. a blow

1948, shortening of bebop or rebop; as a verb, “play bop music, play (a song) in a bop style,” from 1948. It soon came to mean “do any sort of dance to pop music” (1956). Related: Bopped; bopping.

The musical movement had its own lingo, which was in vogue in U.S. early 1950s. “Life” magazine [Sept. 29, 1952] listed examples of bop talk: crazy “new, wonderful, wildly exciting;” gone (adj.) “the tops–superlative of crazy;” cool (adj.) “tasty, pretty;” goof “to blow a wrong note or make a mistake;” hipster “modern version of hepcat;” dig “to understand, appreciate the subtleties of;” stoned “drunk, captivated, ecstatic, sent out of this world;” flip (v.) “to react enthusiastically.” [Life Sept. 29, 1952]


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